The Romans Arrive
The city was founded in about AD 71 when the 5,000 men of the Ninth Legion marched from
Eboracum, as the Romans called
More than a quarter of a century had passed from the Romans establishing a province in southern
It seems a royal love triangle may be the unlikely answer.
Their Queen, Cartimandua, favoured working with the Romans, unlike her estranged husband Venutius. According to the first-century historian Tacitus, when they separated Venutius first took up arms against the Queen and then against her Roman protectors. These skirmishes led to the Romans building fortifications on the frontier between their province and Brigantes, including a fort near
When Cartimandua took her husband’s former armour bearer as her lover, the conflicts escalated. The queen was captured by Venutius’s forces and only rescued after fierce fighting in AD69.
It was time for the invaders to impose their authority on the troublesome northerners, and in around AD71, the Roman Governor of Britain Quintus Petilius Cerealis led his troops northwards from
If anywhere exemplifies the Romans’ skill at identifying the perfect site for a fortress,
When the Ninth Legion arrived in what was to become Eboracum there wasn’t much to see. No evidence has been found for a permanent native settlement in the heart of
Being the spot where the river Foss joins the river Ouse gives
The Romans chose to site their fortress not on the higher land but down between the two rivers. What they lost in height they gained by the defensive advantage of having the rivers on both sides. Besides, it stood on a slightly raised plateau which would have been more prominent in Roman times when rivers were as much as three metres lower than they are today.